On Saturday, HBO released Bright Lights, a much-anticipated documentary about the lives and relationship of mother/daughter duo Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, who passed away just one day apart in December 2016. Since their deaths, the world has found some solace in hearing other actors and people in the entertainment industry tell personal stories of how the two had touched their lives. And now, we'll get to hear from them directly.
It's no secret that the two stars had a tumultuous relationship with each other, and with celebrity world. In many ways, the former was a result of the latter; growing up amidst the Hollywood industry led Fisher down a path of drugs and addiction at a young age, and later she was diagnosed with mental health issues that were very difficult for Reynolds to accept. Here are some compelling quotes from Fisher and Reynolds on their relationship and the difficulty of living your life in the limelight that's revealed in the documentary, as reported by People.
Fisher on her need to please her mother:
“If my mother’s unhappy, it lives on my grid. So I both want to and have to help my mother. I think I’m my mom’s best friend, more than a daughter. My mother really wants me to be an extension of her wishes — an extension of her. And to a great degree, far more sometimes than I ever would want to, I know what my mother feels and wants. And there’s a lot of it.”
Reynolds on her desire to perform until she died:
"I have caught up with a few people in age. But like George Burns said, ‘I’m going to stay on stage until I drop dead.' "
And Fisher adds: "She’ll forget that she’s not 35. It doesn’t make sense to her that her body isn’t cooperating. And she just thinks if she ignores it, it’ll go away. It’s very frustrating for her because inside, my mom is the same person. And she doesn’t want to retire. She does not want to retire."
Fisher on helping fans connect to Princess Leia in real life:
"They love [Leia], and I’m her custodian. She’s me and I’m her and I’m as close as you’re going to get. They talk to me like I’m Princess Leia who happens to have all these difficult experiences she’s gone through. And that’s like me fighting for the Force. It’s nice."
Reynolds on struggling with Fisher's mental health issues:
"Manic depressive is a disease. Now that wasn’t diagnosed then, so nobody knew what was going on with Carrie. When she was 13, her personality changed. So it’s a constant battle — it takes all of us to assure her that she’s loved. It’s hard. That’s the hardest part."